General description: Honeybee is a vigorously growing shrub that reaches 1.5 m in height and 1.2 m in width. It’s highly resistant to diseases and frost. During the flowering season it’s plentifully bestrewn with small flowers and is very prolific. It is known the world over under many names, such as the sweetberry honeysuckle, fly honeysuckle, blue-berried honeysuckle, Haskap berry or simply the honeyberry – all these names represent this amazing plant of extraordinary properties. The Kamchatka honeysuckle’s popularity grows day by day, largely owing to the rise of health food trends. The Honeybee honeysuckle yields delectable and very healthy fruit. Therefore, it's worth seriously considering cultivating it in one’s own garden, especially since it’s easy to do so.
Flowers: This plant’s flowers are quite inconspicuous, pale yellow, and resistant to spring frosts. It’s a cross-pollinating shrub, which means that to gain the highest possible fruit yield, it needs to be planted in the near vicinity of other varieties of Kamchatka honeysuckles. Honeybee is a perfect pollinator for the Indigo Gem cultivar.
Blooming: Honeybee blooms in April.
Leaves: This shrub's leaves are oval, green with a slightly bluish underside. Fresh foliage is slightly tomentose (fuzzy).
Fruit: Honeybee’s fruit are cylindrical berries, dark blue in colour, resembling those of Russian cultivars. They are delicious, juicy, and sweetly sour. The riper the berry, the sweeter it is. The Kamchatka honeysuckle’s fruit are rich in healthful nutrients, such as pectins, organic acids, vitamin C and sugars. Moreover, pigments contained in the berries have remarkable properties of strengthening blood vessels and removing heavy metals and other toxins from the body.
Ripening: Honeybee bears fruit from mid-June to mid-July. It can fruit as early as a year after planting. In the second and third year it can produce from 0.5 to 1 kg of berries from a single shrub. This cultivar may provide as much as 5 kg of fruit from just one shrub and Kamchatka honeysuckles bear fruit for up to 30 years. Honeybee is suitable for both manual and mechanical harvesting.
Cultivation requirements: Kamchatka honeysuckles are easy to cultivate. They tolerate sandy and dry soils, however they grow best in slightly acidic, moderately moist, sandy loam soils, preferably in sunny locations, although slightly shaded spots are also tolerated by these shrubs.
Pruning: During the first five years after planting, Kamchatka honeysuckles need absolutely no pruning. The first thinning out to remove old shoots is to be done after about five years (depending on whether the shrub needs this). Thanks to such pruning, the fresh new shoots will gain access to more light and we gain the possibility of shaping the shrub to our liking. Pruning can be done before flowering after the fruit is harvested.
Overwintering: This Kamchatka honeysuckle is particularly frost resistant. It does not freeze in temperatures as low as -45°C. At the beginning of November, young shrubs should be covered in soil with peat so that a mound of about 30 cm in height is formed over the plant.
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